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Vincenzo Coronelli: Siam o Iudia

Map: SEAS5019
Cartographer: Vincenzo Coronelli
Title: Siam o Iudia
Date: 1695
Published: Venice
Width: 17 inches / 44 cm
Height: 11 inches / 28 cm
Map ref: SEAS5019
Famous plan of Iudia or Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Siam, based on the manuscripts provided by Chevalier de Chaumont's embassy of 1685.

Coronelli obtained access to this important plan of the city while he was residing in Paris and making his famous globes for Louis XIV. De Chaumont had just returned from Thailand in 1686 and caused a sensation with his accounts of the size, exoticism and beauty of the country. His outward journey included several Jesuit Fathers who were well versed in cartography and they had provided him with multiple maps of both the country and the city. Due to first hand knowledge, it is a remarkably accurate rendering of the Siamese capital, at the time thought to be one of the largest cities in the world with over one million inhabitants. The inset on the left details the River of Siam or the Chao Phraya, showing the strategic settlement of Bangkok

As a final note, King Narai of Siam was overthrown in an internal struggle in 1688 and replaced with a far more xenophobic government which expelled the French traders from Siam, while severely restricting the activities of other Europeans. In 1767, the Burmese invaded Siam and burned Ayutthaya to the ground, making this one of the last and most accurate plans of the city. [SEAS5019]